We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Thursday, February 7. 2013
For 40 Years, This Russian Family Was Cut Off From All Human Contact, Unaware of World War II
Postal Service to Cut Saturday Mail to Trim Costs
Steyn: When the assassin calls
Lars needed a gun.
My own insurance will be illegal next January
Krugman: We'll need death panels
Young Americans Are Left Behind In Obama's Economy
A generational tragedy.
Goldberg: Education spending that isn't smart - Education is important and necessary for a host of reasons. But there's little evidence it drives growth.
They predicted no more snow by now
Henninger: Obama's Thunderdome Strategy - The president's goal is to make Republican ideas intolerable.
On firearms, Obama makes no sense.
His memoir, Radical Son, is a good read
Karl Rove and the Cotton Conservatives - Modern Day Whigs and the rise of the Party of Lincoln and Reagan.
More Thompson: "Readers may recall the comical Marxist Bea Campbell and her urge to see the population being enlisted by an egalitarian state, in which “emancipating governance” would be based, rather curiously, on greater state control."
Control is freedom
More from Horowitz' good essay:
The history of creeping gun control in England:
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Young Americans Are Left Behind In Obama's Economy
I will be pleased to allow all youth who voted and who didn’t vote for Obamunism at either election the opportunity to catch up.
"Should artists have to work?”
No. And to fund artistic failure, which we hope is temporary, we must first seize all artistic fortunes—all those artists who have made enough money and didn’t build that (actors, directors, producers, etc.)—then cap earnings by artists at a lower middle class wage. Furthermore, all artists receiving government funds must place their work in the public domain.
RE: English gun control - proof positive that society self-implodes upon itsself with high egalitarian notions and little physical returns.
RE: Bea Campbell - I see the useful idiot is channeling Orwell... and how prophetic his tome turns out to be..
'Rove: Cotton Conservative' is an outstanding piece! That's an essay for you. Much to learn from that, and some great terms for future reference.
Wierd. I must have a dejavu computer. The waterboard bad link just goes to Maggies farm.
Peter Kirsanow: Waterboarding Bad, Assassination Good ...
It's legal to kill members of organizations that are waging war against your country, even if you don't know their exact plans, especially if you don't know their exact plans. Mistreating prisoners, those that have been disarmed and are under your control, is illegal.
As for good or bad, well, there doesn't seem to be any mechanism of accountability in the drone program. While the military is often given great latitude in security matters, there still has to be some sort of overview. As for prisoners, not only is it against American promises to mistreat prisoners, but it has huge effects on its standing in the world.
Bookworm: Indeed, after the Martin shooting, a police spokesman was quoted as saying, “We cannot have people take the law into their own hands.”
Bookworm provides us a link for more information.
According to the link, Tony Martin apparently used an illegal weapon, laid in wait, then shot the burglars as they were trying to flee. He then lied to the police about his actions. The law allows self-defence, but not retribution. A jury found him guilty. The result was subject to review by an appeals court, which also rejected his claim of self-defence.
Jonah Goldberg: Education spending that isn't smart - Education is important and necessary for a host of reasons. But there's little evidence it drives growth... During the so-called Gilded Age, the U.S. economy roared faster and longer than ever before or since, while the illiteracy rate went down. But the rising literacy didn't cause the growth.
Not sure why he would point to the Gilded Age, as he admits literacy improved while GDP increased. It doesn't seem to support his point, and he doesn't explain the discrepancy.
(The rapid growth in GDP was largely due to the exploding population due to immigration. Real GDP per capita rose normally, ≈1.78% per annum from 1871-1900, and part of this growth was undoubtedly due to the increasingly educated population.)
Obamacare makes real medical insurance illegal
This is all going to end horribly, our politicians will have to fix it and it will only get more costly and complicated, but it will crash the economy and we'll all get screwed in the end - and not the pleasant kind of screwed either.
Waterboarding Bad, Assassination Good
I'll admit that I'm in the "Kill 'Em All and Let God Sort 'Em Out" school of diplomacy, but sometimes you just have to wonder where these idiots are coming from.
"Should artists have to work?”
The question isn't should artists have to work - it's really how much bullshit can I spout to get others to pay for me to sit around and make art. To wit:
My work explores the relationship between Jungian archetypes and daytime TV.
With influences as diverse as Kafka and Joni Mitchell, new insights are crafted from both orderly and random layers.
Ever since I was a postgraduate I have been fascinated by the essential unreality of the zeitgeist. What starts out as undefined soon becomes debased into a hegemony of defeat, leaving only a sense of decadence and the dawn of a new undefined.
As shifting phenomena become transformed through studious and diverse practice, the viewer is left with a new agenda of the darkness of our future.
"What’s not to understand? The economic devastation that will take place is an attack, a planned attack on the U.S. Just look at it that way. This “regime” already knows the outcome, which is the debasement of our national currency. Like I said, it’s been in the works most recently since the 1990′s. A collapse does not happen without a lot of pain - people losing everything in their retirement accounts, savings and so on. Don’t you think that will cause one hell of a national security problem? And who is running our national or domestic security? DHS"
TF, please don't use that "quote" background. I think you're someone else and avoid your otherwise most interesting comments.
while I don't give a rip about killing of any al-Qaedas, anytime, anywhere, any how, that citizens might be killed under those expanded and rather vague conditions without minimal judicial oversight is troubling.
perhaps the perps could have their citizenship stripped first, then droned to death.
Krugman: We'll need death panels
perhaps he's right, and its time we face these Facts. we must ask ourselves, does Maggies Farm need a death panel?. I would, however reluctantly, volunteer to chair this panel.
its time for a National Dialog. or a beer summit.
What is an artist? Apparently, only someone who has been given a MFA degree?
I do not see the question of whether artists should have to work applied to those skilled in the useful arts, those who very aesthetically pleasing useful things: welders, woodworkers, cabinetmakers, iPhone designers.
For some reason the question of whether artists should have to work is only asked about those whose "art" has no objective value. Is of no use to those from whom these "artists" seek support.
Some would argue that our society needs pretty things for culture. I would submit this is true but that so few truly pretty things are produced by these so-called artists. Few of their outputs draw us to them which is why we lock them away in museums as curiosities. And collect iPhones and well-made firearms which have a functional beauty that enriches lives.
Agreed, I've been skipping over all comments with that quote block in it.
Krugman: Both times. Always. He might accidentally be right, but not on purpose. He can, and usually has, voiced both/all sides of an argument. At different times, depending on who's President and which party holds the Senate and/or House.
Thompson: These fools want to eliminate the "starving artist" gig!
Education is important, but throwing vast sums at it is...uneducated.
AlGorebal Worming... Fools all the way down.
Rovian Establishment Republicans--no, not for me.
Bea Campbell--Let's make everybody equally miserable. Except for the nomenklatura who make them so.
It doesn't contradict his point at all, since increased literacy among 8-15 year olds has little effect on the economy.
Seriously Zac, your contrarian approach is repeatedly foolish.
"Real GDP per capita rose normally, ≈1.78% per annum from 1871-1900, and part of this growth was undoubtedly due to the increasingly educated population"
Ah yes, "undoubtedly" despite no evidence provided.
Well, todays news has nothing good in it. Just like most days under the reign of Obama. Oh, how I wish fiction could be real and there was a little valley in Colorado to which I could move and be exempt from everything the moochers were doing. Instead, I'm out here in the real world and left only to plan my resistance.
Steve Sailer makes some interesting comments about art.
DrTorch: It doesn't contradict his point at all, since increased literacy among 8-15 year olds has little effect on the economy.
Increased literacy in 8-15 year olds leads, in a decade, to increased literacy in 18-25 year olds.
DrTorch: Ah yes, "undoubtedly" despite no evidence provided.
People with higher levels of education have generally higher levels of income. Literacy is associated with the ability to learn new tasks. Many of the jobs required for the middle class require education. Employers are more likely to hire someone who is literate. Countries with higher levels of education have generally higher levels of productivity.
It was probably not the greatest idea for you to name your computer Mobius.
I am a painter and think artists who require subsidies are pathetic.
Wrong once again by deception! You never quit.
International law, as codified in the Geneva Conventions and the associated protocols, protects prisoners of war against abuse, including actual acts of torture. It is the legal position of the US government that the stateless international terrorists who have attacked the West are not prisoners of war, but are illegal combatants who do not fall within the ambit of the GCs. Now, the Obama administration and the predecessor Bush administration have both chosen to extend the POW protections afforded by the GCs to the Islamic terrorist groups, but to my knowledge there was never any obligation under international law for the US to do so. If you know otherwise as a matter of law, you can correct me, but show me the actual document and text as proof.
As for the murders by drone that Obama seems to relish, it wasn't so long ago that Obama and his AG were labeling acts of terrorism as a law enforcement issue, using that as an excuse to hold trials of the Gitmo terrorists in US courts on American soil. Have you forgotten that? Now it seems Obama prefers a different kind of justice by which he gets to act as judge, jury, and executioner. My how the worm turns.
I like that piece, a lot, so of course you feel as you do. Worth, no worth. It's not that difficult. 'They' just attempt to make it difficult.
I just can't wait till government "fixes" auto insurance by mandating (for our safety of course) free tires, brakes, oil changes, and a mandated GM replacement vehicle (to get the non-GPS equipped ones off the road) every 100K miles. I can't wait for the savings to roll in.
"Should artists have to work?"
I guess it depends whether they've figured out some other way to eat that doesn't involve stealing. If they produce works that other people want to buy, I'm good with that.
"When MOOCs go bad" -- Mead quotes from an article that worries about the lack of a mechanism to tell good courses from bad ones. I don't see the dilemma. How is this different from our usual problem in evaluating the reputation of something new? We can be cutting edge, or we can wait for others to try it and issue consumer reports. How do we tell whether a traditional university has good or bad courses? It costs a heck of a lot more to test whether their reputation is something they're still living up to.
Agent Cooper: Wrong once again by deception! You never quit.
The United States is a signatory to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Convention Against Torture. Under Article IV of the Geneva Convention, prisoners are to be considered prisoners of war until their status is determined by a competent tribunal. And even without those promises by the government of the United States, people are endowed with certain unalienable rights.
Agent Cooper: As for the murders by drone that Obama seems to relish, it wasn't so long ago that Obama and his AG were labeling acts of terrorism as a law enforcement issue, using that as an excuse to hold trials of the Gitmo terrorists in US courts on American soil. Have you forgotten that?
Not at all. Once captured, prisoners have the right to due process. As long as they are free to commit violence against the United States, and are members of groups with which the United States is at war, they are subject to attack. That doesn't resolve the issue of accountability, however.
Agent Cooper: Now it seems Obama prefers a different kind of justice by which he gets to act as judge, jury, and executioner. My how the worm turns.
In WWII, for instance, the United States would bomb factories and railroads. Many civilians died, but these aren't considered war crimes as long as the target had military significance. Do you understand the difference?
Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment
Considering that, in accordance with the principles proclaimed in the Charter of the United Nations, recognition of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world,
Recognizing that those rights derive from the inherent dignity of the human person ...
Part I, Article 1:
For the purposes of this Convention, the term "torture" means any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity...
Part I, Article 2:
1. Each State Party shall take effective legislative, administrative, judicial or other measures to prevent acts of torture in any territory under its jurisdiction.
2. No exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat of war, internal political instability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification of torture.
3. An order from a superior officer or a public authority may not be invoked as a justification of torture.
Signed by U.S. President Reagan, 18 April 1988.
Ratified by ⅔ vote of the U.S. Senate, 21, October 1994.